It is carnaval again in the Netherlands. When, south of the Rhine, you can’t walk the streets without running into people who’ve spent three days straight pub-crawling in fancy dress singing oompy-poompy songs! North of the Rhine things are a bit quieter. Except in Ijsselstein that is, where, defying all geographic conventions the Apeluiders are busy celebrating carnaval with the best of them.

In Ijsselstein Carnaval has its own peculiar twist and somehow its all confused with a monkey from the 14thC. I’m sure all the beer thats flowed since has had a bit to do with it too. You can even listen to Ijsselstein specific Carnival songs.

Meanwhile in Brazil, 1.5 million people flooded the streets of Rio de Janeiro.

Here in Amsterdam we settled for the madness of Prenatal on a Saturday and bought Jacob a box. A round box. Gek genoeg!


It is Carnaval time again in the Netherlands this weekend. Here in Amsterdam (Nord-Holland) Carnaval is not celebrated but it is in our second home, Ijsselstein. Despite being on the wrong side of the Rhine Ijsselstein celebrates Carnaval with the best of them, with businesses closing and drunken revelry being the order of the day.

What I didn’t know (despite having survived one weekend’s carnaval in Ijsselstein) is that the strange story of Kees the monkey lives on in the Carnaval tradition. For the duration of Carnaval Ijsselstein becomes “apenstad”, and the large ape-ish mascot hidden on an empty field behind one of the primary schools takes centre-stage amidst some dedicated apeluiers.

Now how did I miss that!